By 2006, the center relocated to and expanded beyond children to directly support parents as well, in order to take a holistic, family-centered approach to change in the community. The center reached out to parents, offering workshops on positive parenting, personal empowerment, disease prevention, personal hygiene, nutrition, and education.  The community center also hires locals to serve on its staff, giving them a stake in their community and giving much needed jobs to impoverished families.

Six years later, the community center has over 100 children who regularly attend. Having grown so dramatically, the program has expanded beyond the physical limitations of their current rented location. To Give Hope is now breaking ground on a brand new facility which will provide a much-needed addition to the resources already available for the children and their families. The new center will be built entirely from donated funds to To Give Hope, and will serve as the bedrock of the community.

Board Members:
Dr. Lorena Teran
Lorena Teran, the founder of To Give Hope, created the organization to give impoverished children the necessary means to enjoy emotional, mental, and physical health. Lorena has been a volunteer for the past 20 years and involved with public health programs, mentoring troubled youth, caring for the sick, tutoring children and adults, and serving the elderly and homeless. She is currently the President of To Give Hope and is on the executive board of KinderCaminata. In addition, she is a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine in the department of Pediatrics. Her projects focus on improving the health of children in underserved communities. Lorena earned her doctorate in Preventive Medicine and MPH with a specialty in Epidemiology/Biostatistics in 2004.

Emily Ventura, PhD, MPH
Emily Ventura has her MPH and PhD in Preventive Medicine from USC, where she researches dietary habits and diabetes prevention in Latino youth. Emily’s interest in food and culture began in 1999 when she studied family dietary habits in Quito, Ecuador, during a semester abroad. Emily now has over ten years of experience in public health, with a particular focus on experiential nutrition education. Since 2004 when she met Dr. Lorena Teran at USC, Emily has volunteered with To Give Hope. Working with To Give Hope has helped Emily to continue to connect with Ecuador, her home away from home. Touched by the many disadvantaged children that she has encountered in Ecuador, who face a level of need far beyond the disadvantaged she has seen in the United States, Emily would like to contribute as much as she can to helping give these children a chance to rise above their current circumstances through improved health and education.